How To Get Audience From Point A (skeptic) To Point B (convinced)
Being persuasive is one of the most important skills one can develop. Compelling situations themselves will be varied, each one posing its unique challenges and opportunities.
All presentations have one common element. To take the audience from Point A, the start of your presentation and move them to your objective Point B (your call to action). This dynamic shift is real persuasion.
According to Weissman, your presentation may be entertaining, most everyone wants that, but entertainment is not the primary purpose. When your point is not clear, you have committed one of the five cardinal sins. When your position is readily apparent, you have the opportunity to achieve your call to action.
Here is a closer look at your challenge. Point A is where your audience starts: uninformed, uninformed, dubious and skeptical about your business. Or in the worst-case, resistant, firmly committed to a position contrary to what you are asking them to do.
Weissman puts it simply. To reach point B, you need to move the uninformed audience to understand, —the dubious audience to believe, —and the resistant audience to act in a neutral way.
Understand, belief, and act are not three separate goals but three stages in reaching a single, cumulative, ultimate goal. Audiences will not act as you want them to if they don’t first understand your story and believe the message it conveys. Point B is the objective of every presentation, and the sure way to create a successful presentation is to begin with, your goal in mind.
You would be surprised at how many people forget to ask for the order at the end of their presentation. At the same time, to reach this goal, you have to understand that you have to see yourself and your presentation from your audience’s point of view. In other words, there must be empathy, an emotional connection, between you and the audience.
One way to do this is to shift your focus from features to benefits. Simply stated, a feature is a fact about your product. A Benefit is how that fact will help your audience. A feature may be necessary, but a benefit is always required. It’s their reason to act.